I’m always amazed at how few people know what to do with the parsnip. It is a staple winter vegetable that stores well. They have a sweet and nutty flavor and are starchy like the potato, although they look similar to the carrot. Buy parsnips that are small to medium in size as the larger (older) ones tend to have a more woody texture and can be bitter.
Parsnips are great for roasting and can be added to soups and stews just like you would add carrots or potatoes. It is a wonderfully diverse and tasty vegetable so get out there and try them!
Parsnips were a feature player at all the holiday meals of my childhood. We always had them mashed with carrots and smothered in butter. This is still my favorite way to eat them today.
Carrot and Parsnip Mash
1. Put about 1 pound each of carrots and parsnips into a large saucepan, cover with water, put on the lid, bring to a boil, then simmer until all the vegetables are soft (20-30 minutes, depending on your vegetables and the size you have cut).
2. Drain off all the water, and return the vegetables to the hot pan to evaporate off any excess moisture – you don’t want them to be too wet.
3. Add the butter, salt and pepper (to taste), then mash (you can also puree if you prefer)
4. Serve hot, with extra butter, freshly ground black pepper and a little nutmeg (if liked) ground over the top.
Or you can mash them with potatoes and garlic
Garlic Mashed Parsnip Potatoes
Boil peeled and chopped parsnips and potatoes (3 parsnips for every two potatoes) with 3 cloves of garlic until tender. Drain. Mash with 2 tbsps of butter, 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp of salt.
You can also sauté them.
1 pound parsnips
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Scrape or peel the parsnips, then cut them into sticks about the size of your little finger. Dry well with paper toweling.
In a heavy frying pan, melt the butter; then add the parsnips, shaking to coat. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover tightly and saute on medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. The parsnips should be tender and gooey, and slightly caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Peel about 1 1/2 pounds of parsnips and cut into 1-2 inch sticks. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast on a baking sheet at 450 for about 20 minutes.
Or get fancy with a bit of a casserole.
Parsnips with Almonds
1 ½ lb parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 egg; lightly beaten
3 tbsp butter
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ cup toasted almonds, slivered and blanched
Cook parsnips in boiling salted water 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash. Add egg, butter, nutmeg and pepper; stir well.
Spoon parsnip mixture into an ungreased 1 qt. casserole. Sprinkle top
evenly with toasted almonds. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.
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